The most challenging part about teaching math to preschoolers is managing to break out concepts into fun and engaging activities for the children. Comparing numbers can be difficult to grasp for a child approaching the concept for the first time. Remember numbers are abstract for little ones, it's advisable to use concrete objects they can associate with, art projects, manipulatives and games.
1) Using the Human Body - Compare children's hands, feet, length of hair, family size, etc.
2) Your Environment - Compare objects in the environment using vocabulary such as heavy and light, large and small, tall and short, light and dark, wide and narrow, etc.
3) Flannel Board - Match flannel board objects from Goldilocks and the Three Bears by size. Baby bear gets the small bowl, small chair, small bed, and so on. (You will find patterns in the "Story Time" chapter.)
4) Cardboard rollers - Take cardboard rollers from paper towels and make tubes for the child to seriate by size. Cut seven of them of decreasing size. You can also make a seriating game with eggs cartons. Cut 1 section, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 section lengths. Encourage children to arrange these in both ascending and descending order.
5) Paint Chips - Get paint chips from a paint store and cut the colors apart. Have the child arrange the chips in order from dark to light.
6) Set Cards - Ask the child to seriate set cards.
7) Fun Bar Graphs - To show comparisons visually, make bar graphs for your class. You could graph the number of people in each child's family, their favorite animals, how many children have a birthday in each month, or how many teeth each child has lost.
8) Inequality sign - Introduce the child to the inequality signs with Alfred the Alligator. Alfred is always hungry so his mouth will always be trying to eat the larger set. Children can learn to determine if objects and sets are alike or different through comparisons. Introduce the child to the inequality signs with Alfred the Alligator (Soon available in our shops as a felt manipulatives). Alfred is always hungry so his mouth will always be trying to eat the larger set.
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